By Kelly


I’m thinking of installing foam panels on my bedroom ceiling. No, don’t be weird, I mean that I shot out of bed this morning with such a fright that I almost ended up creating a new skylight. It’s the 11th of January, which means that I run out of scholarship funding in exactly 11 months. Heard this all before? Yes I did have a bit of a meltdown a few months ago…then discovered I can’t count (or perhaps read) and my submission date (which includes a 6 month extension) is not November, but December. But now that extra month has disappeared, and I’m not entirely sure that my ability to read and count has improved!

I have a friend in media who keeps asking why a PhD takes so long, and haven’t I finished yet? I’m thinking of quitting science and going in to media as clearly their instruments are a lot more reliable than ours. I have a meeting with my supervisory panel at the end of the month to explain myself so perhaps I’ll float the idea then. Actually, the idea is that I present to them exactly what I have done, what I need to get done, and whether this is at all reasonable to expect within the time that is left. Sound familiar to the midterm that we often speak of? Well it is hopefully going to be similar in intensity, but unofficial and without the written work, which is a good thing as I’m dubious they critically read the last 60 pages I gave them… Not that it bothers me as my husband reads my work, and he reads and counts real good *.

The difference this time is I that I really should know what I’m talking about. I don’t always feel that I do, but I most definitely know more than at my midterm 12 months ago. So it should be fun? And then I need to head interstate and pray to Odin that the instruments work for me so that I can collect enough data to start writing properly. THEN I need to think about putting together my best work to showcase at a big international conference. Now is the time I’m supposed to be doing some kind of scientific version of a bird-of-paradise display so that I can attract an employer. If I can’t dazzle them with my science I may try something more like that featured below. I’ll let you know how that works for me.

While I realise it’s a logical progression, with one thing drawing to an end another must begin, but job hunting while finishing a PhD seems cruel and unusual punishment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see a man about some feathers.

* My advice to anyone thinking of starting a PhD in science: marry an academic. At least then you are guaranteed someone will read and comment on your work, if only to stop you rolling around on the kitchen floor wailing. Some behaviour is really only appropriate at home, and then only just barely.